Sailors with disABILITIES

Winds of Change Blowing in Sydney

School bags dusted off, uniforms aired, sunhats reshaped and it’s official—the 2017 school year has begun. SWD wasted no time in welcoming students, back at school for just a week, on sailing programs in Sydney and Melbourne.

In Sydney, students from Lake Illawarra High in Wollongong hopped on board SWD’s yacht, You’re Hired, on Wednesday for the first day of an 8-day Winds of Change program. Held over eight consecutive weeks, the program helps students develop leadership and teamwork skills as well as instilling a sense of confidence and helping build self-esteem.

Teacher, Mr Paul Commins, said, “The kids were really anxious on the way up in the van. It was just fear of the unknown. But after just a short time on the boat, even in the pouring rain, you could see the nervous energy change into excitement once they realised what they were doing—some had a go at steering on their first day. They were exhausted on the way back down after the build up and the experience but you could see them smiling and happier. These kids have some of the most difficult backgrounds of kids in the school and, based on the outcomes of children last year, we know this program will make a big difference."

Rainy Winds of Change Sydney

 

Winds of Change student and volunteer

 

Winds of Change thumbs up

Winds of Change week 1